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kimbledawn
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I wouldn't use it now, but before I did my reseach and understood the effects of different chemicals and synthetics on the soil biology and benificials, I used it. but I never used it on food. When I started growing food last season I was already organic and all natural in my eating and living habits.

I have heard of people using it on food. My neighbors got some organic seedlings from me this season and my husband said that they said "Thank you :D I'm going right out back to give them a good dose of miracle grow!" :shock: You guys should have seen his face :lol:
"Organic gardeners always know the best DIRT!"

sciencegal
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What about using it on the leaves? I decided to try MG tomato food this year in hopes that I would actually get some tomatoes. I do not have soil, I have rocks with this clay-like stuff that looks like concrete when dry in between the rocks, so mostly I have containers which are filled with MG potting mix or my crummy soil mixed half with MG garden soil. I do have cow/horse/goat/chicken manure but composting in the high desert can be challenging. After reading these posts I got out the box of the tomato food and it said you can spray it on the leaves. This way it wouldn't hurt what little soil I have, would it??

cynthia_h
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In my own garden, I use organic methods for veggies, roses, etc. However, my orchids receive Peterson's Orchid Food at half-strength whenever I can get it together to feed them. I'm not sure whether I'll buy any more when it runs out, but the way I haven't used it these past months, it'll last forever....



Cynthia

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rainbowgardener
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Wow, everyone slow down and take a deep breath.


Of course it is all right to grow veggies with Miracle Grow. Almost all the veggies in the grocery store are grown with something like it. We almost all eat them and do fine.

I am a mostly organic gardener as are many of us here. If the OP is curious about why that is, they can browse around in the Organic Gardening section or post more questions.

But everyone needs to figure out what works best for them. Even those of us who call themselves organic gardeners still have to figure out where all the lines are. I don't use Miracle Grow or anything like it in my garden, but I do use MG potting soil for starting seeds and often in containers for container grown plants. Does that make sense? I don't know, but it works for me. It helps if we continue educating each other and learning from each other, but try not to be judgmental or make people uncomfortable about their choices-- and I understand that I am not perfect about that either, because there are environmental issues I care passionately about. But as I spend more time here and see how much people value the friendly environment we have created here, I'm getting better at it! :)
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

sciencegal
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On this subject - sort of - this morning I read about a study indicating that songbirds prefer conventionally grown birdseed over organically grown bird seed.

"Conventionally-grown crops tend to contain significantly higher levels of protein than those grown organically due to the application of inorganic nitrogen fertilisers in conventional farming systems.

"This makes our findings potentially applicable across many food types and suggests the issues surrounding organic food are not as cut and dried as some might think."

[url=https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100518230515.htm]LINK[/url]

cynthia_h
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Indeed interesting, sciencegal. There's also an article to the right of your link on a study led by a German scientist. His team were surprised to learn that (contrary to the 10% diff. in protein found by the UK team) there were no statistically significant differences in 44 components of wheat:

"The statistical analysis of the data shows that the metabolic status of the wheat grain from organic and mineralic farming did not differ in concentrations of 44 metabolites," they report. "This result indicated no impact or a small impact of the different farming systems. In consequence, we did not detect extreme differences in metabolite composition and quality of wheat grains."

Maybe the British songbirds simply preferred (or were accustomed to) the *taste* of conventionally grown wheat? This hypothesis doesn't seem to have been examined.

I would also like to have known which pesticides/herbicides/fertilizers were used; there could be statistical significance there, as well. Commercial growers have access to different products from those available to home gardeners. We have access to Miracle Grow and the like; I'm sure that commercial growers buy from descriptions like "20-5-5 quick release $____ per pound/1 lb covers ___ square ft (acres)."

Also, with regard to your earlier post: the technique of spraying nutrients on the leaves is called foliar feeding. We've had discussions on this technique many times, generally with regard to compost tea, but the mechanics are the same, regardless. Best wishes for a successful search!

Cynthia

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farmerlon
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sciencegal wrote: "Conventionally-grown crops tend to contain significantly higher levels of protein than those grown organically due to the application of inorganic nitrogen fertilisers in conventional farming systems.
I feel that growing vegetables with organic methods is healthier... both for the person eating the produce, and for the environment.

But, the main reason that I grow Organically is for the taste.
It may just be because of some mental bias that I may have, but I swear that I can taste the excessive nitrates and potassium (etc...) in veggies grown with chemical/synthetic fertilizers.

I won't argue with anyone about gardening methods... if they like to use Miracle Gro, or bagged 10-10-10, or whatever; that is fine by me. That "chemical" approach just doesn't work for me.

DoubleDogFarm
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farmerlon, You have my vote. :D

TZ -OH6
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Sciencegal, If I had soil like you describe I would look into something like hay/strawbale gardening. It is cheaper than making raised beds and you won't be wasting money on fertilizer and water that will quickly wash away. It will also help improve the soil underneath.



For others,

Some things to think about.
In a discussion at another site today the conversation was about the effect of culture on flavor. One example was a notible difference in flavor between tomatoes grown with manure compost vs composted leaves. The person growing with manure said the neighbor's tomatoes tasted much better, the only difference being the leaf vs manure compost. The second example was between two gardeners in a community garden wondering why one's peas were much sweeter than the other's. The only differences being that the plot with poorer flavor used more water and boxed organic fertilize, while the better flavored garden used less water and home made compost.


Now on the subject of nitrates in the soil. A dense cover crop of alfalfa tilled in to "organically fertilize" a corn field will produce two times the amount of nitrates below the root line than will a traditionally fertilized corn field (corn is heavily fertilized). So the cover crop used to fertilize a corn field will cause twice as much ground water contamination than the optimal application of synthetic fertilizer. Nitrates in the drinking water can be toxic to infants.

https://extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=WQ277


As far as synthetic fertilizers poisoning the soil fauna, mushroom growers use such high quantities of synthetic fertilizers (potash, ammonium nitrate, urea) in the compost used to grow the mushrooms that even after the mushroms are done with it the compost is so high in salts that it can burn plant seedlings, so obviously the fertilizers are not directy harming the soil fauna.

https://extension.oregonstate.edu/news/story.php?S_No=28&storyType=garde



Traditional farming practices do little to add organic matter to the soil and synthetic fertilizers increase growth of both plants and microbes, but unlike the plants the microbes need a carbon source (organic matter) for energy (food). The fast multiplying soil bacteria decompose the soil organic matter quickly and out compete (basically starve out) the fungal community. You could alter the soil microbial community in the same way by using bags of preformulated "organic" fertilizer (or the liquid stuff used for organic hydroponics). Adding organic matter in the way of compost or manure to give the fungi a carbon source is the key factor in organic farming being better for the soil than traditional farming.



Lastly, about nutritional benefits of organic vs traditional vegetables. The vast majority of scientific research shows no significant difference in nutritional quality between organic and traditional produce (just as many studies go one way as the other, or break even). This does not make much sense when thinking about micronutrient depleated "traditional soils" until you understand how organic farming practices can easily shift the balance in soil nutrient levels in such a way that plant physiology is affected. Namely, repeated applications of manure to provide the needed nitrogen builds up potassium levels in the soil (a common problem), and the shifted ratio of calcium to potassium decreases the nutritional quality of the produce. You can always argue whether protein to carbohydrate ratio or anti oxidant levels etc define nutritional quality if you want to promote one farming method over the other.


https://www.soilandhealth.org/03sov/0302hsted/030202/03020208.html



https://soilandhealth.org/06clipfile/Nutritional%20Quality%20of%20Organically-Grown%20Food.html


https://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/ajcn.2009.28041v1


Of course there is the question of pesticide use on traditional farms, and varieties grown for productivity, shipping and shelf life, which will favor organically grown produce for flavor and safety, but that is a different arguement.


We could just as easily be in a heated discussion (using the same arguements) over which is better, container growing or inground growing. Consider the following for container growing: evil plastic container, plastic bags of processed potting mix, petroleum used for manufacture and transport, nitrate explosives used to mine the dolomitic lime used to buffer pH of the mix, the environmental damage caused by that mining, petroleum used to crush it, water conservation issues, flavor, production... But for some reason "organic vs chemical" polarizes/opinionates people like nothing short of religion and politics.

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